Proper cleaning is essential for maintaining the timeless elegance of sash windows. Homeowners sometimes need help, if they find themselves torn between homemade remedies and commercial cleaning solutions. Parsons Joinery understands the importance of preserving the aesthetic appeal of sash windows, and here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of homemade and commercial window cleaning solutions. This post is a guidance only.


Homemade Solutions

Vinegar and Water Mixture:

  • Pros: This budget-friendly concoction is not only environmentally friendly but also excels at cutting through accumulated dirt and grime on your sash windows. With its acidic properties, vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant, ensuring a hygienic cleaning process. It’s effective against water spots and mineral deposits, leaving your windows sparkling clean.
  • Cons: While the cleaning power is undeniable, the pungent smell of vinegar can be off-putting for some homeowners. Additionally, this solution might need to be revised when faced with more stubborn stains or grime, requiring additional elbow grease to achieve the desired results.


Lemon Juice and Baking Soda:

  • Pros: Harnessing the power of natural ingredients, the combination of lemon juice and baking soda creates a dynamic duo for sash window cleaning. The mild abrasiveness of baking soda removes stains without scratching the glass, while the refreshing scent of lemon adds a pleasant fragrance to your living space.
  • Cons: When confronted with deeply embedded dirt, this DIY solution requires more time and effort than commercial alternatives. Furthermore, the acidity of lemon may not be suitable for all types of glass, particularly if your windows have special coatings or treatments.


DIY Soap Solution:

  • Pros: Crafting your soap-based solution provides a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option for routine sash window maintenance. The readily available ingredients, such as mild dish soap or Castile soap, ensure gentleness on both the environment and your windows. This solution’s versatility extends beyond window cleaning, making it suitable for various surfaces around the house.
  • Cons: While effective in many cases, DIY soap solutions may leave streaks on windows, especially if not adequately rinsed or wiped. The hardness of your water supply can also impact the effectiveness of this solution, potentially diminishing its cleaning power. Finding the right balance in the soap-to-water ratio is essential to avoid residue and streaking issues.


Commercial Solutions 

Specially Formulated Window Cleaners:

  • Pros: Engineered with specific window types in mind, specially formulated window cleaners offer a targeted solution for achieving a streak-free, impeccable shine. These cleaners often come equipped with the right balance of ingredients to tackle the unique challenges posed by different window materials, ensuring optimal results without compromising the integrity of the glass or surrounding components.
  • Cons: While designed for effectiveness, it’s crucial to scrutinise the ingredients in some commercial cleaners, as some formulations may contain chemicals that pose a risk to the environment. Additionally, certain cleaners may necessitate careful handling to avoid skin irritation or inhalation issues, emphasising the importance of reading and following safety guidelines.


Foaming Glass Cleaners:

  • Pros: The popularity of foaming glass cleaners lies in their user-friendly application, adhering quickly to vertical surfaces and providing enhanced contact time for effective stain removal. Their foaming action allows the cleaner to cling to the window surface, ensuring that it penetrates and lifts away tough stains, leaving your sash windows looking pristine.
  • Cons: While foaming cleaners excel in accessibility and stain removal, their residue-forming nature has a potential downside. If not thoroughly wiped off, the residue may detract from the overall cleanliness of your windows. Additionally, the foaming action might not be suitable for intricate details or delicate window designs, requiring careful application to avoid adverse effects.


Professional Cleaning Solutions:

  • Pros: Regarding periodic maintenance, professional cleaning solutions offer a comprehensive approach to ensuring your sash windows remain in top condition. These solutions are often tailored to address the specific needs of different window materials, ensuring a deep clean that goes beyond what conventional methods can achieve. Professional cleaning services bring expertise and efficiency, leaving your windows looking as good as new.
  • Cons: The primary drawback of professional cleaning solutions is their cost, as they tend to be pricier than homemade alternatives or off-the-shelf products. Additionally, opting for professional assistance may require scheduling appointments and potentially inconveniencing homeowners. While the investment is higher, the superior results and peace of mind may outweigh the associated costs for those seeking an immaculate and hassle-free cleaning experience.


Factors to Consider

Window Material:

  • The type of material your sash windows are crafted from plays a pivotal role in determining the most suitable cleaning solution. Wooden/timber sash windows, with their natural and porous surfaces, may react differently to homemade solutions than UPVC or aluminium counterparts. While homemade cleaners can be effective for wooden windows, it’s essential to consider the material’s sensitivity to certain ingredients. Commercial solutions, on the other hand, are often meticulously crafted with specific materials in mind, ensuring compatibility and optimal results without compromising the integrity of the window.


Stain Severity:

  • The degree of stain severity is crucial when choosing between homemade and commercial cleaning solutions. For light dirt and dust accumulation, homemade remedies are effective, offering a gentle yet thorough cleaning option. However, commercial cleaners with advanced formulations become invaluable when faced with deep-seated stains or persistent grime. These specialised solutions often feature potent ingredients capable of breaking down and lifting even the toughest stains, providing a cleaning power that homemade alternatives may struggle to match.


Environmental Impact:

  • With an increasing focus on sustainability, considering the environmental impact of your chosen cleaning solution is paramount. Homemade solutions, typically utilising everyday household items, are generally more eco-friendly. However, it’s essential to note that some commercial cleaners are now produced with environmental considerations. Many manufacturers adopt greener practices and incorporate biodegradable or eco-friendly ingredients into their formulations. To make an informed choice, it’s advisable to read labels carefully, seeking out cleaning products that align with your commitment to environmental consciousness.


Time and Effort:

  • The time and effort required for window cleaning can vary significantly between homemade and commercial solutions. Homemade remedies, while cost-effective, may demand more time and elbow grease, especially for extensive window cleaning sessions. Factors such as preparing the solution, testing its effectiveness, and ensuring streak-free results can contribute to a more time-consuming process. On the contrary, commercial solutions are designed for efficiency, offering quick and effective results with minimal effort. This convenience is particularly beneficial for homeowners seeking a swift and hassle-free approach to maintaining the clarity and brilliance of their sash windows.


In conclusion, ultimately, the choice between homemade and commercial sash window cleaning solutions depends on individual preferences, the condition of the windows, and environmental concerns. Parsons Joinery recommends a balanced approach, using homemade remedies for regular maintenance and commercial cleaners for more intensive cleaning tasks. Remember to test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire window. Additionally, following proper cleaning techniques, such as using a soft microfiber cloth or sponge, will contribute to the longevity and brilliance of your sash windows. Homeowners can make informed decisions to keep their sash windows gleaming for years by understanding the benefits and limitations of homemade and commercial solutions.